US10965578B2 - Hardware architecture for universal testing system: cable modem test - Google Patents

Hardware architecture for universal testing system: cable modem test Download PDF

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US10965578B2
US10965578B2 US16/415,604 US201916415604A US10965578B2 US 10965578 B2 US10965578 B2 US 10965578B2 US 201916415604 A US201916415604 A US 201916415604A US 10965578 B2 US10965578 B2 US 10965578B2
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test
port
testing
ethernet
server
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US20190273675A1 (en
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Samant Kumar
Shivashankar Diddimani
Hemanth Nekkileru
James Christopher Collip
Naresh Chandra Nigam
Mrinal Mathur
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Contec LLC
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Contec LLC
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L12/00Data switching networks
    • H04L12/28Data switching networks characterised by path configuration, e.g. local area networks [LAN], wide area networks [WAN]
    • H04L12/2854Wide area networks, e.g. public data networks
    • H04L12/2856Access arrangements, e.g. Internet access
    • H04L12/2869Operational details of access network equipments
    • H04L12/2878Access multiplexer, e.g. DSLAM
    • H04L12/2879Access multiplexer, e.g. DSLAM characterised by the network type on the uplink side, i.e. towards the service provider network
    • H04L12/2885Arrangements interfacing with optical systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L12/00Data switching networks
    • H04L12/28Data switching networks characterised by path configuration, e.g. local area networks [LAN], wide area networks [WAN]
    • H04L12/2801Broadband local area networks
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L43/00Arrangements for monitoring or testing packet switching networks
    • H04L43/50Testing arrangements

Abstract

A hardware architecture for a universal testing system used for performing tests on cable modem devices (DUT) is disclosed. According to certain embodiments, a CMTS test harness enables the DUT to respond to test phone calls from the MOCA interface and which test phone calls terminate at the DUT's phone port.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/929,180, filed Oct. 30, 2015.
This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/866,630, filed Sep. 25, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,960,989, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/866,720, filed Sep. 25, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,810,735, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/866,752, filed Sep. 25, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 10,122,611, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/866,780, filed Sep. 25, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,491,454, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/929,220, filed Oct. 30, 2015 and published May 4, 2017 as U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2017/0126537, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. This application is also related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/948,143, filed Nov. 20, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,992,084, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/948,925, filed Nov. 23, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,838,295, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/987,538, filed Jan. 4, 2016, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,900,116.
TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention is directed to a system for testing devices.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 illustrates a high-level hardware architecture of a universal testing system for cable modem tests, according to certain embodiments.
FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B are high-level schematics of a front view of a set of Faraday cages of a universal testing system, according to certain embodiments.
FIG. 3 is a high level schematic that illustrates the connectivity features of backplates (also referred to as backplanes) of physical slots to test servers, according to certain embodiments.
FIG. 4 is a high-level schematic of connectivity of a given DUT with a MOCA LAN harness and a MOCA WAN harness, according to certain embodiments.
FIG. 5 is a high-level schematic that illustrates an FXO test hardware setup, according to certain embodiments.
FIG. 6 is high-level schematic that illustrates a CMTS test harness associated with the FXO test hardware setup, according to certain embodiments.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
Methods, systems, user interfaces, and other aspects of the invention are described. Reference will be made to certain embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. While the invention will be described in conjunction with the embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention to these particular embodiments alone. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover alternatives, modifications and equivalents that are within the spirit and scope of the invention. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.
Moreover, in the following description, numerous specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the invention may be practiced without these particular details. In other instances, methods, procedures, components and networks that are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art are not described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the present invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates a high-level hardware architecture of a universal testing system for cable modem tests, according to certain embodiments. FIG. 1 shows a test station 100 that includes a test control computer 102 (test controller), a plurality of test servers 104 a-104 n, a foreign exchange office (FXO) server 140, non-limiting examples of user interfaces that can include touch screen display 106, bar code scanners/keyboard/mouse (112), a remote tablet 108. Each of the plurality of test servers 104 a-104 n is associated with four physical test slots which are Faraday cages. In each physical test slot can be installed a device (e.g., wireless router) to be tested. Each installed device in the various physical slots is also referred to as a device under test (DUT). For ease of explanation and to avoid overcrowding the drawing of FIG. 1, FIG. 1 shows only one of the Faraday cages 114. Each Faraday cage/test slot 114 is associated with a cable modem termination system (CMTS) 120, a MOCA LAN harness 122 and a radio frequency (RF) splitter 124. According to certain embodiments, MOCA LAN harness 122 is connected to RF splitter 124 via RF cable 126 b and CMTS 120 is connected to RF splitter 124 via RF cable 126 a. RF splitter 124 is connected to Faraday cage/test slot 114 via COAX cable 126 c. Faraday cage/test slot 114 has Ethernet connections 116 to its associated test server. MOCA LAN harness 122 also has an Ethernet connection 129 to the associated test server. CMTS 120 also has an Ethernet connection 128 to the FXO server via local router 142. Test control computer 102, test servers 104 a-104 n, and FXO server have a LAN 130 (Local Area Network) connection to a firewall/gateway/router 110, which in turn is connected to a WAN 132 (Wide Area Network). A user can optionally use remote wireless tablet 108 to interface with test station 100 remotely through a wireless communication 134 to firewall/gateway/router 110. Further FXO server 140 is connected to Faraday cage/test slot 114 via telephony cable 144, according to certain embodiments.
According to certain embodiments, the firewall isolates the test framework of the testing system.
According to certain embodiments, the CMTS is used for testing DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) device registration and data throughput.
According to certain embodiments, the testing system comprises at least one test station. According to certain embodiments, each test station includes a plurality of Faraday cage/test slots for testing devices. As a non-limiting example, a subset of the plurality of physical slots is associated with corresponding test servers. As a non-limiting example, a test station may have a plurality of test servers, each of which is associated with four Faraday cages/physical test slots. The number of test servers and physical slots may vary from implementation to implementation. According to certain embodiments, each test server includes virtualization containers that act as probes for testing devices installed in the physical slots in the test station.
According to certain embodiments, several wireless devices can be tested simultaneously in the test station.
According to certain embodiments, the user interface can communicate through web sockets with the test system. Such communication is in real-time, bi-directional and asynchronous so that the user can control and monitor the testing of multiple devices simultaneously and independently of each other using the same universal testing system.
According to certain embodiments, the testing system is capable of testing a set of similar types of devices or a set of disparate devices.
According to certain embodiments, test controller 102 is a computer subsystem that manages the user interfaces of the testing system. Thus, at least the following devices are connected to test controller 102: touch screen display 106, and bar code scanners/keyboard/mouse 112.
According to certain embodiments, touch screen display 106 is a touch-enabled screen that senses user/operator inputs for a given DUT. For example, each DUT is represented on the touch screen display as a window that includes test related information such as test progress and test results. As another non-limiting example, a user/operator can use touch screen display 106 to input light emitting diode (LED) status (is the LED lit or not lit) when the user/operator is prompted for inputs as part of the testing procedure of a given DUT.
According to certain embodiments, one or more the bar code scanners 112 can be used to read DUT information such as serial number of the DUT, and default Wifi passwords associated with the given DUT. Such information is needed to conduct testing on the given DUT.
According to certain embodiments, test controller 102 includes an Ethernet interface to connect to the plurality of test servers 104 a-104 n. Test controller 102 communicates with the plurality of test servers 104 a-104 n using such an Ethernet interface in order to conduct tests on the various DUTs that are installed in test station 100.
According to certain embodiments, keyboard/mouse 112 are part of test controller 102 and can be used by the user/operator to input data needed to run the tests on the various DUTs installed in test station 100.
According to certain embodiments, each test server of the plurality of test servers 104 a-104 n provides interfaces (hardware ports) needed to conduct one or more tests on the DUTs. Depending on the type of test, a given test may need a single port or multiple ports as part of the test infrastructure. According to certain embodiments, such ports are controlled by virtualization containers at the test servers.
According to certain embodiments, a given test server includes the following devices: PCI/PCI Express/Mini PCI Express slots, Ethernet connectivity hardware and software.
According to certain embodiments, the PCI/PCI Express/Mini PCI Express slots allow Wifi cards to be installed on a given test server to provide Wifi connectivity in order to perform Wifi tests on the DUTs. Such slots can also be used to install Ethernet cards to provide Ethernet ports in order to perform tests on the DUTs. According to certain embodiments, such PCI/PCI Express/Mini PCI Express slots can host a set of ports that can be associated with a corresponding set of virtualization containers on the test servers. Such virtualization containers are used for testing various features on the DUTs such as Wifi, LAN, WAN, or MOCA interfaces of a given DUT.
According to certain embodiments, the voice port associated with the FXO card is used for testing VoIP connection and functions.
According to certain embodiments, Ethernet connectivity hardware and software are provided in order to connect the test controller computer to the plurality of test servers for controlling the plurality of test servers.
According to certain embodiments, the test servers run test scripts to perform one or more tests such as: 1) testing Ethernet data throughput speeds, 2) testing WiFi throughput speeds, 3) testing MOCA throughput speeds, 4) testing voice over IP (VOIP) connections and functions, 5) testing MIMO (multi input, mule output) antenna technology, according to certain embodiments. According to certain embodiments, the test servers use virtualization containers to run such tests.
FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B are high-level schematics of a front view of a set of Faraday cages/test slots of a universal testing system, according to certain embodiments. FIG. 2A shows a number of physical slots, such as slots 202 a, 202 b, 202 c, 202 d, 204 a, 204 b, 204 c, 204 d. Each slot has a backplate (202 ab, 202 bb, 202 cd, 202 db, 204 ab, 204 bb, 204 cd, 204 db). Backplates are also known as backplanes.
Similarly, FIG. 2B shows a number of physical slots, such as slots 206 a, 206 b, 206 c, 206 d, 208 a, 208 b, 208 c, 208 d. Each slot has a backplate (206 ab, 206 bb, 206 cd, 206 db, 208 ab, 208 bb, 208 cd, 208 db). Sample backplates are described herein with reference to FIG. 3 herein.
FIG. 3 is a high-level schematic that illustrates the connectivity features of backplates of physical slots relative to test servers, according to certain embodiments. For ease of explanation, FIG. 3 shows the connectivity of one backplate of the plurality of backplates to one test server of the plurality of test servers in the universal testing system, according to certain embodiments. As previously described, there are a plurality of test servers and a plurality of slots (and corresponding backplates) per test server, according to certain embodiments.
FIG. 3 shows a backplate 302 associated with a give slot that is, in turn, associated with a test server 304 in the universal testing system. Backplate 302 includes but is not limited to a power supply port 306, a set of ports 308, a subset of which are Ethernet ports 308 a, a set of coaxial ports 310, a set of voice ports 312, and a set of Wifi ports (314, 316). Server 304 includes but is not limited to a master Internet port 330, a set of Ethernet card ports 332 a-g, of which 4 ports (332 a-d) are Ethernet LAN ports, one Ethernet MOCA LAN port 332 e, one Ethernet MOCA WAN port 332 f, and one DUT WAN port 332 g. Test server 304 also includes a set of WiFi card ports 340 a-d. One or more of the WiFi card ports 340 a-d can be associated with a Wifi virtualization container on test server 304 for use in Wifi tests of the DUT, according to certain embodiments.
According to certain embodiments, port P3 of Ethernet ports 308 a is associated with port P1 of Ethernet card ports 332 a. Similarly, port P4 of Ethernet ports 308 a is associated with port P2 of Ethernet card ports 332 a. Port P5 of Ethernet ports 308 a is associated with port P3 of Ethernet card ports 332 a. Port P6 of Ethernet ports 308 a is associated with port P4 of Ethernet card ports 332 a.
According to certain embodiments, Wifi port 314 is associated with an antenna 314 a and is also associated with port P2 of Wifi card port 340 d via Wifi cable 314 b, for example. Wifi port 316 is associated with an antenna 316 a and is also associated with port P1 of Wifi card port 340 d via Wifi cable 316 b.
According to certain embodiments, a given DUT that is installed in a given slot is connected via coaxial ports 310 to the MOCA WAN Ethernet port (332 f) and MOCA LAN Ethernet port (332 e) via a corresponding MOCA WAN harness and a MOCA LAN harness, described in greater detail below.
FIG. 4 is a high-level schematic of connectivity of a given DUT (installed in a given slot) to a MOCA LAN harness and a MOCA WAN harness, according to certain embodiments. FIG. 4 shows MOCA WAN harness 120 and MOCA LAN harness 122 that are used for testing the MOCA WAN interface and the MOCA LAN interface, respectively, of DUT 402. MOCA WAN harness 120 and MOCA LAN harness 122 are connected to a power splitter 124 via RF cable 126 a and RF cable 126 b, respectively, according to certain embodiments. Power splitter 124 connects the MOCA LAN and MOCA WAN to DUT 402 via ale RF cable 126 c. According to certain embodiments, MOCA WAN harness 120 is also connected via Ethernet cable 128 to an Ethernet port 412 of a test server, where such an Ethernet port 412 is associated with a virtualization container on the test server. Similarly, MOCA LAN harness 122 is also connected via Ethernet cable 129 to an Ethernet port 408 of a test server, where such an Ethernet port 408 is associated with a virtualization container on the test server, according to certain embodiments. Further, DUT 402 is also connected to the test server via RF cable 418 to an Ethernet port 410 of the server that is associated with a virtualization container.
For example, test information (and/or other related information) can flow from Ethernet port 410 (and associated virtualization container) to DUT 402 and then to the MOCA LAN interface of MOCA LAN harness 122 and then to Ethernet port 408 (and associated virtualization container). Test information (and/or other related information) can also flow from Ethernet port 408 (and associated virtualization container) to the MOCA LAN interface of MOCA LAN harness 122, and then to DUT 402, and then to Ethernet port 410 (and associated virtualization container).
Similarly, test information (and other related information) can flow from Ethernet port 410 (and associated virtualization container) to DUT 402 and then to the MOCA WAN interface of MOCA WAN harness 120 and then to Ethernet port 412 (and associated virtualization container). Test information (and/or other related information) can also flow from Ethernet port 412 (and associated virtualization container) to the MOCA WAN interface of MOCA WAN harness 120, and then to DUT 402, and then to Ethernet port 410 (and associated virtualization container).
FIG. 5 is a high-level schematic that illustrates an FXO test hardware setup, according to certain embodiments. FIG. 5 shows a DUT 502, a phone port 504 of DUT 502, a phone port 506 at a given test server. An FXO card is installed at the given test server. Such an installed FXO card provides the phone port 506 that can be connected to phone port 504 of DUT 502. Further, phone port 506 is also associated with a virtualization container 508, according to certain embodiments. Such a virtualization container can make phone calls to the DUT. According to certain embodiments, DUT 502 may be placed inside a Faraday cage/test slot of the testing system.
FIG. 6 is high-level schematic that illustrates a CMTS test harness associated with the FXO test hardware setup, according to certain embodiments. FIG. 6 shows DUT 602, power splitter 604, MOCA RF filter 606, RF Tap 608, combiner 610, MOCA LAN harness 612, CMTS 614, virtualization container associated with Ethernet port 616 and virtualization container associated with Ethernet port 618. CMTS 614 is connected to combiner 610 via RF cable (636, 634). Combiner 610 is connected to RF Tap 608 via RF cable 632. RF Tap 608 is connected to MOCA RF filter 606 via RF cable 630. MOCA RF filter 606 is connected to power splitter 604 via RF cable 628. Ethernet port 616 on a given test server is connected to MOCA LAN harness 612 via Ethernet cable 622. MOCA LAN harness 612 is connected to power splitter 604 via RF cable 626. Power splitter 604 is connected to DUT 602 via RF cable 624. DUT 602 is connected to Ethernet port 618 on the test server via Ethernet cable 620.
According to certain embodiments, the CMTS test harness enables the DUT to respond to test phone calls from the MOCA interface and which test phone calls terminate at the DUT's phone port. According to certain embodiments, when the DUT is powered up, the CMTS is configured to provide IP addresses for the session initiation protocol (SIP) server running on the DUT.
As a non-limiting example, a telephone call path flows from Ethernet port 616 on the test server to MOCA LAN harness 612 via Ethernet cable 622 and then to power splitter 604 via RF cable 626, and then to DUT 602 via RF cable 624, and then to Ethernet port 618 on the test server via Ethernet cable 620.
In the foregoing specification, embodiments of the invention have been described with reference to numerous specific details that may vary from implementation to implementation. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.

Claims (13)

The invention claimed is:
1. A testing system for testing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections and functions on cable modem devices, comprising:
a test controller for managing a user interface of the testing system;
a plurality of test servers connected to the test controller, each test server of the plurality of test servers including:
a first Ethernet port for connecting to a radio frequency (RF) port on a cable modem device under test via an Ethernet-to-coax adapter and an RF splitter,
a second Ethernet port for connecting to an Ethernet port on the cable modem device under test, and
a Foreign Exchange Office (FXO) card connected to a phone port on the cable modem device under test; and
a Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) connected to the plurality of test servers and to the RF port on the cable modem device under test via the RF splitter,
wherein the test controller is configured to cause a first test server of the plurality of test servers to:
send a first signal from the first Ethernet port on the first test server to the RF port on the cable modem device under test via the Ethernet-to-coax adapter, and
receive at the FXO card associated with the first test server a second signal from the phone port on the cable modem device under test, wherein the second signal is generated by the cable modem device under test in response to the first signal.
2. The testing system of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of Faraday cages, each of the Faraday cages housing a cable modem device under test.
3. The testing system of claim 1, wherein the CMTS provides an Internet Protocol (IP) address to a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) server running on the cable modem device under test.
4. The testing system of claim 1, wherein the FXO card simulates a telephone and receives the second signal from the phone port on the cable modem device under test.
5. The testing system of claim 4, wherein the FXO card conveys information in the second signal to the test server.
6. The testing system of claim 4, wherein the FXO card receives information from the test server and transmits it to the phone port on the cable modem device under test.
7. The testing system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of test servers further comprise virtualization containers that control the first and second Ethernet ports.
8. The testing system of claim 1, further comprising an FXO server and wherein the FXO card is part of the FXO server.
9. The testing system of claim 1, wherein the FXO card is part of a test server.
10. A testing system for testing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections and functions on a device under test, comprising:
a test controller for managing a user interface of the testing system;
a Faraday cage including a test slot for receiving a device under test (DUT), the Faraday cage including an Ethernet connector for connecting to an Ethernet port on the DUT, a coax connector for connecting to a coax port on the DUT, and a phone connector for connecting to a phone port on the DUT;
a test server connected to the test controller and including:
a first Ethernet port for connecting to the coax connector on the Faraday cage via an Ethernet-to-coax adapter and a radio frequency (RF) splitter,
a second Ethernet port for connecting to the Ethernet connector on the Faraday cage, and
a Foreign Exchange Office (FXO) card connected to the phone connector on the Faraday cage; and
a Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) connected to the test server and to the coax connector on the Faraday cage via the RF splitter
wherein the test controller is configure to cause the test server to:
send a first signal from the first Ethernet port on the test server to the coax port on the DUT via an Ethernet-to-coax adapter and the coax connector on the Faraday cage, and
receive at the FXO card a second signal from the phone port on the DUT via the phone connector on the Faraday cage, wherein the second signal is generated by the DUT in response to the first signal.
11. The testing system of claim 10, wherein the CMTS provides an Internet Protocol (IP) address to a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) server running on the DUT.
12. The testing system of claim 10, wherein the FXO card simulates a telephone and receives information from the phone port on the DUT.
13. The testing system of claim 10, wherein the test server further comprises virtualization containers that control the first and second Ethernet ports.
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